How to transition to RV living is in response to one of our viewers who is interested in making the same decision we did.
It definitely begins with an idea then a decision which will more than likely have been triggered by some event like a shorter trip you had taken in the past.
Or perhaps you read about someone else’s experience.
When you decide, you’ll want to set a target date for the transition to occur.
From the time we made our decision to the time we moved out of our home was only six weeks.
In fact, at the time we’re writing this, we’re in our sixth full week of full time RV living.
We’re still making the transition to RV living in that we are still in our hometown.
We have a car to sell, and we’re still making sure our rig is set-up with what we need before heading into greater North America.
Last week, for example, we had Discount Tire install these valve extenders on our dually tires.
That way it’ll be a lot easier to inflate the inside back tires in the future.
We also purchased a water pressure regulator in order to ensure that our water pipes are not under excessive city water pressure.
Too much water pressure in your RV pipes can damage them.
You don’t want more than 50 pounds of water pressure coming through your city water intake valve.
The regulator we purchased is pre-set at 45 pounds.
How to transition to RV living with no storage unit
This question posed the biggest challenge, and more than likely will be the reason why we recommend 3-6 months to make the transition.
If you’re selling a home, allow 6-12 months.
We made the decision that at the end of the day, our stuff is just stuff.
So why pay to have non income producing possessions placed in storage.
It doesn’t make sense, right?
As a result, we decided to personally sell, hold moving sales, and make countless trips to local donation centers to unload our worldly goods.
We never knew how immense a process it was to get rid of virtually everything.
We spent every day working towards lightening our load.
Even then, we found ourselves working thru a pile of belongings on the rental property a day after we were supposed to have moved out.
So if you want to go the same route, don’t underestimate how much material gets crammed into your attic, closets, and drawers, not to mention your garage.
Did we literally discard everything?
We did send a Suburban-load of sentimental items back to Phoenix to be stored at EveElise’s friend’s house for free.
Things like old letters, photos, yearbooks, wedding china, etc.
These sentimental items are irreplaceable, and you should be able to find a friend or family member somewhere who will temporarily safeguard these items for you at no cost.
How to transition your pets to RV living
Many folks travel with their pets, even their cats.
Our cat, Sassy (pictured here), lived with us for 5+ weeks until she didn’t show up one morning.
We were sure a coyote had caught and killed her.
But our former next door neighbor asked us, five days after her disappearance, where she went missing.
Unknowingly to us, they drove over to the church parking lot where we had been staying and found her alive in the storm drain.
It was truly amazing because this church parking lot sat at the cusp of a small urban canyon filled with coyotes.
As a result, they changed their minds and decided to adopt her.
(We had previously asked them prior to moving into the RV if they would take her. They originally said no because they already had a cat, albeit an indoor one.)
So if you’re planning on taking your cat, make sure it’s strictly an indoor cat because even though our cat proved that cats do indeed have nine lives, it was only going to be a matter of time before a coyote or some other wild animal caught up with her.
How to transition to RV living without cars
This is entirely up to you and how you want your-set-up to look.
Some RVers will hitch up their vehicle and tow it.
If there are two drivers in your family, you may want to decide to drive the family car separately.
(Kind of like a small convoy.)
We decided to sell our cars and take only our bicycles.
So far we’ve sold one car, but we’re still trying to sell our 2010 Volvo XC90.
And we’re waiting for U-Haul’s insurance company to issue us a check to repair our propane tank.
Additionally, there are still some personal items that we’ve been removing from the rig to reduce weight like these effective, but heavy wooden levelers and replacing them with these just as sturdy, but lighter weight ones.
So this is why we initially made the decision to stay close to home and not venture out yet.
We want everything on our rig to be working properly.
How to transition to RV living in 46 days
You want to know the definition of insanity?
46 days was not nearly enough time.
It’s easy to romanticize about full time RV living:
… no more yard to maintain
… utility bills are gone
… possibly no more mortgage or rent payments
But we don’t want to blow smoke up your back side!
The reality is that transitioning to a life on the road becomes a gargantuan task once you’ve set the wheels in motion (no pun intended).
You are deliberately and literally pulling your own roots out from under you.
It’s a stressful situation.
At times, you question whether or not you’re doing the right thing.
So before you decide you’re going to pull the plug on conventional living, you really need to think about it and discuss it with your spouse over a period of months, if not years.
In our case, we had held numerous discussions over a four-year period.
How to transition to RV living with children
We’re not certain about the statistics, but our observation is that most folks who are full time RV living are retired couples.
So adding three children to the RV creates another level of complexity, especially since our RV is only 23 feet long.
More water is used, more food is consumed, and there’s less room to move around in the rig.
Plus, more overall weight is added to your GVWR.
To compensate we reduced the amount of material each of them could bring, particularly their clothing items.
Each of them could store seven days worth of clothes in their personal cubby.
The biggest challenge we faced was to eliminate many of their toys and trinkets.
We allowed them to bring a few board games, electronic devices, books, and their rainbow loom kits.
We also homeschool the children and we find that it works best for our schedule to have them complete their lesson in the morning right after breakfast.
At the same time, you have to be flexible with where they do their work.
Sometimes the local laundromat works best!
If you have more questions, please comment below.
We love questions and comments!